Game 160-Tampa’s Last Stand

Final series of the year for the Yanks, and while the Yanks have nothing left to play for, the Rays are battling for their playoff lives. The Yanks are fielding a decent lineup, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the starters get pulled early even if the game is close. The Red Sox better win their games facing the O’s if they don’t want to play on Thursday, because I don’t think the Yanks care if they get swept. They just want everyone rested and ready for Friday night.

Here’s your lineup, courtesy of LoHud:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Jorge Posada 1B
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez RF
Brett Gardner LF

Hector Noesi gets the start for the Yanks, facing big game James Shields. That tells you just how much this series means to the Yanks.

GO YANKS!!!!!!!… Click here to read the rest

Game 160-Tampa's Last Stand

Final series of the year for the Yanks, and while the Yanks have nothing left to play for, the Rays are battling for their playoff lives. The Yanks are fielding a decent lineup, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the starters get pulled early even if the game is close. The Red Sox better win their games facing the O’s if they don’t want to play on Thursday, because I don’t think the Yanks care if they get swept. They just want everyone rested and ready for Friday night.

Here’s your lineup, courtesy of LoHud:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Jorge Posada 1B
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez RF
Brett Gardner LF

Hector Noesi gets the start for the Yanks, facing big game James Shields. That tells you just how much this series means to the Yanks.

GO YANKS!!!!!!!… Click here to read the rest

Towers: "Cash Does It The Right Way"

Last week, Ken Rosenthal published a fascinating article on how the Moneyball philosophy continues to impact the game. One prominent passage discussed Brian Cashman’s efforts to implement changes to keep pace with the Red Sox:

The Yankees, a perennial post-season qualifier, also held low draft positions. When Cashman secured more power before the 2006 season, one of his goals was to improve the team’s farm system. At the time, the feeling among many rival executives was that the Red Sox were about to blow right past the Yankees.

Cashman, in his quest to play catch-up, hired Joe Kerrigan, the Red Sox’s former pitching coach and manager who had been replaced at the outset of the Henry regime.

“How they approached their pitching program was of interest to me,” Cashman says. “I was throwing out much more (pitching) talent than the Red Sox had and they were having more success. It goes to execution, game plans, stuff like that.”

Cashman’s shift toward statistical analysis caused friction with then-manager Joe Torre, who said in his book, “The Yankee Years,” that he told the GM to remember the human element, and “never forget that there’s a heartbeat in this game.”

Joe Girardi replaced Torre before the 2008 season.

Click here to read the rest

Vote now for the 2011 IIATMS MLB Awards!

The Barry Bonds Award: For the most outstanding player in each league. Pitchers are eligible.

The Greg Maddux Award: For the best pitcher in each league.

The Babe Ruth Award: For the best offensive player in each league.

The Mariano Rivera Award: For the best relief pitcher in each league.

The Angel Berroa Award: For the most outstanding rookie in each league.

The Branch Rickey Award: For the best general manager in each league.

The Dusty Baker Award: For the manager who did the most to hurt his team in 2011.

If you’d like to vote, email me your picks for each award winner in each league by noon Wednesday. Winners will be announced Thursday morning.… Click here to read the rest

Russell Martin’s defense, and its impact on Montero

BP’s Mike Fast has done some truly ground breaking research on the impact pitch framing skills can have on a ballclub’s ability to suppress runs. Mo addressed this in a previous post (check out his graphics)  but I wanted to come at it from a different angle, namely the pending decisions on what to do with Russel Martin and Jesus Montero. Here’s the piece, which has been updated since Mo’s column. Check out the numbers on Martin and Posada:

Catcher

Called Pitches

Total Runs

R/120G

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

Russell Martin

42186

71

15

15

10

20

14

11

 Jorge Posada               17942            -50 -25 0 -23 -11 -5 -10

The takeaway? Eliminating 2011 (since Jorge didn’t play Catcher) the difference between Russell Martin and Jorge Posada defensively was 105 runs over the course of 4 seasons from 07-10. If you accept Fast’s research (which is new and may be revised over time) then Posada would have needed to be a whopping 26.25 runs better than Martin with his bat each season just to break even on the defensive difference.… Click here to read the rest

Russell Martin's defense, and its impact on Montero

BP’s Mike Fast has done some truly ground breaking research on the impact pitch framing skills can have on a ballclub’s ability to suppress runs. Mo addressed this in a previous post (check out his graphics)  but I wanted to come at it from a different angle, namely the pending decisions on what to do with Russel Martin and Jesus Montero. Here’s the piece, which has been updated since Mo’s column. Check out the numbers on Martin and Posada:

Catcher

Called Pitches

Total Runs

R/120G

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

Russell Martin

42186

71

15

15

10

20

14

11

 Jorge Posada               17942            -50 -25 0 -23 -11 -5 -10

The takeaway? Eliminating 2011 (since Jorge didn’t play Catcher) the difference between Russell Martin and Jorge Posada defensively was 105 runs over the course of 4 seasons from 07-10. If you accept Fast’s research (which is new and may be revised over time) then Posada would have needed to be a whopping 26.25 runs better than Martin with his bat each season just to break even on the defensive difference.… Click here to read the rest

Looking back at the Charleston RiverDogs’ 2011 season

Curtain Calls:
Rob Segedin (3B): Segedin hit .323/.396/.482/.878 in his 61 games with Charleston, before he was bumped up the Tampa.  He had 34 RBIs and five homers, but also made fifteen errors in the field.  Segedin will be playing in the Arizona Fall League with the Phoenix Desert Dogs.

JR Murphy (C): While Montero, Romine and Sanchez are the names most Yankees fans think of when they wonder who will be the future backstop in the Bronx, Murphy made it clear that his name shouldn’t be left out of the discussion.  He hit  .297/.343/.457/.800 with the RiverDogs, before being promoted to Tampa.  He hit six homers and 23 doubles, even picking up a pair of stolen bases, earning him SAL Mid-Season All-Star honors.

Slade Heathcott (CF): There is no doubt that it was a tough year for the Yankees’ first round pick of the 2009 Draft.  Questions about his upbringing were finally addressed in an article that shed light on the young player’s rough home life and battle with alcohol. … Click here to read the rest

ALDS rotation coming into focus

Either way, I think we have a pretty good idea of what the ALDS rotation is going to look like now. C.C. Sabathia and Ivan Nova were already locks, of course, and now Freddy Garcia has probably nailed down his spot as well. I think it’s safe to say the Yankees will ask Sabathia to throw on short rest in Game 4 if need be, meaning they’ll only need to run out three different starting pitchers.

If there’s one thing left to watch, it’s probably Colon’s start Tuesday night. Colon has been shaky of late, but with Hughes ticketed to the bullpen the only other possibility for a 4th starter should the Yankees get past the ALDS is A.J. Burnett, and I doubt anyone just wants to hand A.J. that role. If Colon has a good outing he may be able to win the job, but if he gets shelled again I don’t see how you can have faith in him to start a playoff game.… Click here to read the rest